Worst Outbreak of Cholera Continues to Ravage Haiti
Humanitarian relief groups, short of cash, are folding their tents. A pilot project to vaccinate Haitians against the disease, recently undertaken at a cost of $400,000, reached only 1 percent of the population, with no immediate prospect of expansion. Of the 100 or so cholera treatment centers that sprang up around the country after the disease was detected 19 months ago, fewer than a third remain
The United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Haiti, Nigel Fisher, said this month that donors have so far met just 9 percent of the $230 million U.N. appeal for 2012 — not only for cholera but for a range of relief programs including flooding, tent cities and food insecurity. “It’s really quite disastrous,” he said.
Meanwhile, cholera’s deadly toll has mounted in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. Unknown in Haiti for a century before the first cases appeared in October 2010, cholera has now killed 7,100 people, infected more than 550,000 and hospitalized nearly 300,000
It has also spread across the border to the Dominican Republic, killing more than 400 people there. Five percent of Haiti’s 10 million people have already been infected, and health experts estimate that 200,000 could contract the disease this year
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